Monthly Discussion Group

The monthly BZE Discussion Group is an opportunity to hear from and question experts leading climate change solutions. Topics vary from renewable energy techincal innovations to social and political action. The event is generally held on the first Monday of every month at 6:30pm at the University of Melbourne.

Professor John Wiseman presents Post Carbon Pathways

Post Carbon Pathways: Learning from the most innovative and promising post carbon economy transition plans and strategies

Professor John Wiseman is Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) at The University of Melbourne.

Professor Wiseman has recently returned to Australia following a period of travel meeting with and interviewing a wide range of leading researchers, policy makers and activists working on post carbon economy transition plans and strategies. This work is part of the broader Post Carbon Pathways project being undertaken with MSSI Research Fellow Taegen Edwards and Dr Kate Luckins. Professor Wiseman will share the key outcomes and learnings from this work.

The Post Carbon Pathways project aims to show that  transformational changes required to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions depend on broad recognition that alternative, more desirable futures and pathways are indeed possible. Post Carbon Pathways project aims to strengthen understanding of the actions needed to create rapid, large-scale transitions to a just and sustainable post carbon future.

Dr Keith Lovegrove - latest in Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) power and dispatchable storage

Dr Keith Lovegrove is Senior Consultant – Solar Thermal at IT Power. He is a world leading expert in Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) technology and has more than 20 years experience in leading solar thermal research – including 15 years teaching at the Australian National University (ANU) as head of the Solar Thermal Group.

Keith led the design and construction of the ANU Big Dish, the  largest concentrating solar dish in the world (at 500m2). He is a key contributor to the IEA Solar PACES program, which is an international cooperative network developing CST and chemical energy systems. Keith will present a CST and storage technology update from the latest Solar PACES conference (that he attended in September 2012), as well as research carried out on the potential of CSP in India.

Click Here for LIVE streaming of this event in HD720 video.

Apologies for problems with the streaming of this event. We will make the video available shortly if and when the audio becomes available. All ticket holders should have been refunded and will be notified by email when we have a video for you to view.

Link to PDF of slides (5.2MB) (A fairly technical document and most listeners will benefit from hearing Dr Lovegrove talk you through it. Audio linked to below. Video in production).

Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan Update

Slides from Trent's presentation are available here

The Zero Carbon Australia (ZCA) Buildings Plan is set to launch in the coming months. The ZCA Buildings Plan aims to demonstrate that there are no technical barriers to zero emission buildings in Australia. Project Director, Trent Hawkins, will take us through energy efficiency retrofits, thermal modelling software, implementation timelines, economic case studies, and the renewable energy strategies, that will make every building energy self-sufficient (i.e. zero net energy consumption) within a decade. 

Whatever your incentive, energy efficient building design and sustainable performance is an absolute no-brainer. It would reduce Australia's total carbon emissions. It would present energy savings for bill payers and more healthy and comfortable homes. This also has reciprocal benefits for government spending: a healthier population and more breathing room for the transition to renewable energy.

Trent's presentation vodcast (via University of Melbourne's Echo360 lecture capture system) can be found here

High Speed Rail (HSR) mass rollout in China

Slides from David's presentation are available here

David Feng is an academic, blogger, radio personality and a train buff who has clocked in more than 45,000 kilometers to around 20 Chinese provinces in the past four years.

As of August 2012, China had laid 12,000 kilometers of High Speed Rail (HSR) track, investing billions of yuan in a state of the art train network, with train top speeds of 350km/h. Chinese authorities aim to build more than 13,000 kilometers of HSR lines by end of 2012 and 16,000 kilometers by 2020. This kind of national rollout is what will be recommended in the Zero Carbon Australia Transport Plan which will demonstrate there are no technical barriers to zero emission transport in Australia.

Like David, many people are replacing air travel with the convenience of HSR trips. China is showing what is really possible with the latest technology and some government capital! David Feng joins us via Skype to tell us why China's successful HSR network is now the largest in the world.

AEMO forecasts future of rooftop solar on the electricity market

Slides from Andrew's presentation are available here pdf or ppt.

The National Electricity Market (NEM) has experienced a rapid uptake of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) over the last four years with PV estimated to have produced 1,200 GWh, or 0.6% of annual energy in 2011.

Although the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) notes there has been no significant operational impact on the wholesale market to date, these increasing levels of PV have the potential to impact investments in the network and/or large scale generation and contribute to the Merit Order Effect. AEMO is now including rooftop PV into their demand forecasts.

Andrew Reddaway, of AEMO, is author of the Rooftop PV Information Paper 2012 which supports the main National Electricity Forecasting Report. (This report also has other supporting information papers focusing on issues such as maximum demands for summer and winter, electricity prices and economic outlook.)

Andrew will present this NEM-wide summary of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) growth to date, and its possible growth over the next 20 years.

The Rooftop PV Information Paper 2012 can be downloaded from:

Repowering Port Augusta

Slides from Hannah's presentation are available here

At this critical time for South Australian energy policy, Beyond Zero Emissions has released the long-awaited Repowering Port Augusta report. This report presents the compelling economic and environmental case for why Port Augusta’s ageing coal-fired power stations should be replaced with concentrating solar thermal power (CST). 

As with the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan research collaboration with the University of Melbourne, this Port August blueprint is technically detailed, fully costed and backed up by rigorous research. Join us and support the future of Australia's first solar thermal power plant with molten salt storage. For interstate participants, we are excited to announce for the first time, live streaming of this event here. You can ask questions and make comments during the webcast via the chatbox.

Beyond Zero Emissions' presenters are Operations Director, Mark Ogge, and Repower Port Augusta Campaign Manager, Hannah Aulby. 

Power, Energy & Buildings with Richard Keech from BZE's Buildings Plan Team

Slides from Richard's presentation are available here

Energy is the master resource which drives our civilisation and underpins the operation of the buildings we live and work in. But how well do we really understand energy?   Richard Keech will explore some of the threshold technical issues and concepts of energy, particularly as they apply to buildings. Join us for this technical introduction to BZE's Zero Carbon Australia (ZCA) 2020 Buildings Plan which will be released later this year.    

Professor Ian Johnston leads Direct Geothermal pilot for buildings in Victoria

Slides from Ian's presentation are available here

Prof. Ian Johnston leads a team of geothermal experts from the University of Melbourne demonstrating direct geothermal systems in Victorian conditions.  Earlier this month (3rd April 2012), the Victorian State Government announced a $1.6 million grant to support the work of the University of Melbourne and its industrial partners, Geotechnical Engineering and Direct Energy. This project will install geothermal heating and cooling systems into a range of buildings around Victoria and will monitor their performance.

Electric Vehicles and Sustainable Transport Infrastructure

Slides from Joan Manuel's presentation are available here

Joan Manuel Fernandez Mendoza is PhD candidate from The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). His studies focus on the life cycle assessment of urban transport infrastructures.

He is researching different types of infrastructures required for different modes of transportation (i.e., sidewalks and urban squares for pedestrians/cyclists, streets for motorized vehicles, charging systems for electric vehicles, refuelling systems for conventional cars, etc). The aim is to develop guidelines and criteria for the promotion of sustainable and eco-friendly designs that minimize the environmental burden of the built environment of cities related with personal mobility. Joan will also share his experiences about living in Barcelona, a leader in urban form and sustainable city design. 

Climate Change, Farming & Food Security Policy - An Indonesian Perspective

Slides from Rita's presentation are available here

Rita Widiadana is Senior Journalist and Editor at Indonesia's 'The Jakarta Post' and has over 20 years experience covering issues such as agriculture, forestry, biodiversity and climate change. Rita covered The Ministerial Conference on Biodiversity, Food Security and Climate Change in Bali in 2011 which brought together experts from 127 countries.

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